Life Technologies of Carlsbad, Calif, has received US Patent No. 8,545,248, "System to control fluid flow based on a leak detected by a sensor." The patent describes a system that includes a communication interface to couple to a sensor cartridge, a fluidic subsystem to exchange a reagent solution with the sensor cartridge, and a computational circuitry coupled to the communication interface and the fluidic subsystem.

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The UK's Nuffield Council on Bioethics says genetically modifying human embryos could be morally permissible, according to the Guardian.

A new Nature Biotechnology paper reports that CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing can lead to large deletions or complex rearrangements that could be pathogenic.

The Wall Street Journal likens a prototype developed by Synthetic Genomics to a "biological fax machine."

In PNAS this week: strategy for reactivating Rett syndrome-linked MECP2, small molecules able to suppress Staphylococcus aureus virulence, and more.